Sunday - December 30

We are in Cordele ("Cordeal", GA) tonight after a good day on the road with abundant sunshine.    We went to 7:30 Mass at St. John the Evangelist in Paducah and were on our way......the snow along the road stopped about 20 miles south of Paducah, but then small scattered spots of snow/ice in parts of TN.   Lots of traffic and with the TN Titans playing in Nashville and the Falcons at home in Atlanta, we lucked out overall and didn't get in any major traffic jams!
Had a nice dinner at 16 East and now settled in our room - 464 miles to go and we'll be with Philip and Annette tomorrow night!    Can't wait......
Annette has been with her parents and will be flying home tomorrow!
Our family - December 23, 2012
Pat's entire family

Saturday - December 29

We are on our way to the Florida – day after day of no sun and dreary, cold, windy conditions makes us so looking forward to some warm sunshine  The further south we traveled the more snow with beautiful covered trees/evergreens.   Fortunately, the roads are clear! 
Busy past few days and yesterday (Friday) was so much fun with Annette’s baby shower hosted by my friends, Kathy and Claire at Claire’s home.    So fun to have family and friends together and shower this little baby boy coming in April with precious outfits, toys, books and much more – a real “Boy and Blue” theme!     Lunch was delicious and just a delightful afternoon of girl fun. 
Cute "pacifier" party favors
One of many sweet little outfits
Annette and her hostesses - Kathy and Claire
 We took some items from the cupboards and fridge to Anne and family and said our good-byes in the evening.    I hate good-byes!!!    We’ll sure miss all of them!  
Grandma and Grandpa and the boys
  Then home to start packing up the truck – oh my..... sooo much stuff with our clothes for the winter, boating stuff, Christmas gifts for Annette and Philip and all the baby goodies     
One final lunch with Kathy and Claire this afternoon at Biaggi’s celebrating Kathy’s birthday (tomorrow) and then we were on “the road again”.
We are in Paducah, KY tonight - 16 degrees overnight!    Plenty of snow here!

Thursday - December 27

Busy, productive day putting away Christmas 2012!   House looks bare after all my holiday decor, but good feeling to have it stashed away for another year!     Now gearing up for FL and gathering all our stuff.    We hope to leave Sunday morning.
Bur first things first and looking forward to tomorrow and baby shower for Annette given by my friends, Claire and Kathy.    Annette is feeling better, but unfortunately some of the guests are sick with various ailments (stomach flu, colds, fever, sinus infections, etc.) - our paper had a big article about the deluge of sickness around town and very busy prompt cares and ER's.
I ran a few errands this afternoon - felt good to be out and about - 1st time since Christmas Eve Mass.   Hope you and yours stay healthy!

Wednesday - December 26

Happy Day-After-Christmas!    We’ve been busy all day dismantling all the decorations and 95% is taken down, boxed up and stored away – Mark was a BIG, BIG help!   We should be back to normal tomorrow.   We had a wonderful Christmas with Anne and family and Ryan.    Unfortunately, Annette is sick and so did not come for our gathering along with her parents and Grandma.     Philip drove down and he and Ryan went onto Chicago.   Other mishaps of the holidays……Drew has the stomach flu, cold, fever, etc.
Saturday morning, Anne fell off ladder leading to top bunk bed and cracked her tailbone.    She has been in lots of pain and I feel so bad for her.    She went to Prompt Care and on Tylenol with codeine, but not helping much.   This is a long, painful recovery from what we hear.
Back to last Sunday……Mark and I met my brother Bob, Jennifer, Jake, and Jason at 8:00 Mass in Sublette which was for my Dad.    And then onto Mendota for our big (all together) Christmas gathering.    We also had a surprise baby shower for Jennifer and enjoyed watching a DVD from Christmas 1989 at our house.   So, 23 years later…..great fun to watch and see how we’ve all changed!!!   Lots of laughs.
Sure sorry to hear about all the folks affected by the Christmas Day and after storms around the country - we were lucky to escape all that!
Santa was very good this year and very thankful for so many blessings, especially the gift of having our family all together!     
Christmas night

Christmas Eve

Happy Christmas Eve......we've been in a whirl around here enjoying Michael, Brooke, Drew, Davis and Brady the past few days.    After the "blizzard" conditions of Thursday and Liam and Connor's Christmas program being canceled, I took the NC boys to the show on Friday afternoon - Patrick was in charge of the lighting and sound and it was extra special!     That night Anne and Patrick took all 5 boys to a hockey game (1st time for the boys from down south) and  then enjoyed a sleepover.   Michael, Brooke, Mark and I had a very nice dinner at Baxter's and then some good games of euchre.
Saturday we drove to Dixon and spent a fun gathering (84 strong) of Mark's family.    Ryan, Philip and Annette came that afternoon.   Sunday we spent the day at my brother Bob and Linda's  and ALL my family were there (29)  Even my nephew, wife and kids from Australia.    This would've been Dad's 95th birthday.   Sooo fun to have all our kids together this weekend.    Michael and family flew home this morning.
  Mark, Ryan and I went to breakfast with the Monday group and then Ryan was off shopping, Mark cleaned up a bunch of branches in the yard (still snow and ice) caused by last Thursday's high winds.    I did some spiffying up of the house and a few things in the kitchen. We went to 4:30 Mass (Anne and family, Ryan, Mark and I) and then back here for hors d'oeuvres, soup and euchre)!
The stockings are hung by the chimney with care.......boys are so excited!

Well dressed little lads home from Christmas Eve Mass
MERRY CHRISTMAS to all and to all a Good Night!

Thursday - December 20

Whoaaaa.....blizzard happening outside tonight - not so much snow, but with wind gusts of 60 mph, it is wicked and going to be so COLD overnight!     But we're warm and comfy indoors.   Michael and all arrived yesterday around 3;   Anne and family came over for pizza and the cousins were reunited!    Today Michael had a business trip to Chicago and fortunately returned just before it got really bad.    Tonight was to be Liam and Connor's Christmas program and Patrick was doing the light/sound show for it; but this big extravaganza was canceled due to the weather.
Mark took happy meals and the NC boys to Liam and Connor's school and they all had lunch together.     And after Liam and Connor went back to their classrooms, Grandpa, Drew, Davis and Brady spent the afternoon at the Children's Discovery Museum.    Brooke and I had 6-hour shopping jaunt, including delicious lunch at Medici - fun to be out and about till the winds picked up, temps dropped and the ugly stuff started  rain, sleet and snow.   Time to go HOME!
So...tonight Anne, Patrick, Liam and Connor came over for more cousin fun and good eats.    After they left (last day of school  and rescheduling of Christmas program for 1:30 tomorrow,) Michael, Brooke, Mark and I played euchre with the guys winning 3 out of 5.
Brady all snuggly under the blanket this morning
The grandsons
Drew, Davis, Liam
Connor and Brady

Tuesday - December 18 out and about today starting with Mark and I going to 8:00 Mass and then to Coffee Hound for coffee and pastries.   While I was at eye doctor for yearly check-up, Mark took off with list for grocery store.    Home for a bit and with my dilated eyes, he was my chauffeur this afternoon  - got my nails done and a few other errands, including a visit with our insurance agent about getting me all signed up for Medicare!!!!
Great news that Philip, Ryan and friends, Matt and Jeff  have delivered Catrina safely to Marathon.    Sounds like they've had a good trip down there and sent pictures of beautiful sunrise and sunset.    Really appreciate this and know the guys are having FUN!!!
Mark and I are gearing up for our NC kids/kiddies arriving tomorrow afternoon - yeah!!!!   Mama is sooo excited about her chillins' coming home and all will be together this weekend at family gatherings.

Hope all is under control at your house - we are down to the last week!

Monday - December 17

Today was fun filled with friends and good eating.....Mark went to breakfast with the neighbors and brought home a bag of Donna Rae's homemade peanut brittle.    I did a few things around the house - feeling really good.   Mark took me to get a haircut and as we were leaving, it started sleeting!   UGH!    Came home and Kathy and Claire arrived with delicious treats and we sat around the kitchen table enjoying hot tea, our crumpets and lots of chatter!    Mark skedaddled out of here to do some Christmas shopping and donated blood at the Red Cross.
Sue and Jerry brought a delicious dinner!    Wow.....again, so thankful for all these dear friends.
Today seemed to be more emotional for me watching coverage from CT and those precious little angels.   Really hits close to home when we think of our sweet boys, 6 and 7
 (Brady, Connor and Liam).
Long-time friends Wayne and Myrna came with dessert (cherry cheesecake) - fun catching up and comparing notes on our travels.    We did the Maritime Provinces this summer and they enjoyed that area in October!

Sunday - December 16

Golly, the 16th of December.....this week has flown by and there are some good things to say about "laying low" and having some "down time".     Been getting several little projects done here on the couch and this afternoon, Mark and I watched some old VCR tapes from my parents 50th wedding celebration (January 15, 1989) and seeing so many familiar faces (many of whom are no longer with us) brought on laughs and tears!   I'm enjoying some good books, too!
Anne, Patrick and boys stopped in after church.....Anne took some of my cookies to add to hers for school club cookie exchange (which I had planned to attend.....).
Looking forward to my first outing tomorrow - a haircut!

Friday - December 14

All of our hearts are heavy and very sad tonight after what happened in Newtown, CT today......wishing I could hug our 5 grandsons tonight - extra tight!  
Despite the horrific news today, the sun was shining brightly - tonight and tomorrow, rain is coming which will fit the mood!    I did get some very good news hearing that my pathology report came back negative!    Wonderful Christmas gift!   Thank you God!!!!!!!
Mark is ready to turn the blogging back to me, so.....he has been an awesome caregiver!!!!   And I (we) can't thank you all enough for your kind thoughts and prayers these past few days.    I am so blessed with wonderful friends who've stopped by with meals, delicious Christmas goodies, fruit, soup, flowers, etc.   We are missing a few parties this week and so, one of my Monday Night Friends (she is actually an every-day/night-of-the-week-friend) brought the party to us with Christmas plates and napkins, mini ham sandwiches, soup, veggies and dip, fresh fruit, cheese and crackers and party mix!!!    THANK YOU ALL sooooooo MUCH!    
I'm just hanging out on the couch these days enjoying the Christmas lights and music with my technology close by - I-phone, I-pad, computer, Nook, etc., and making lists, resting, reading, napping, etc.    I feel good and by Monday, will be ready to get out and about with a haircut appointment.   I go back to the doctor on Wednesday.
I was to report this past Monday morning for jury duty.   My doctor had sent a letter and I was excused because of the surgery.    Well......all week long a murder trial has been going on and still continuing into next week as the defense will take over on Monday!     Yikes....perhaps this surgery was a blessing in disguise???

Another day brightener is enjoying the cards/letters/pictures that come in the mail!
Wishing you a merry, fun weekend with lots of prayers focused on Newtown and their loss.

Thursday - December 13

A quiet day at home.  Pat is doing very well.  She is hinting that she may be willing to take back her 'blog' tomorrow.  I ran a short errand this morning and this afternoon I attended a birthday celebration for a lovely lady we all call "Aunt Ginny" who turned 100 years old today.  Sorry no picture of the special lady, totally forgot to take one.

Wednesday - December 12 PM

Pat had a very good day.   We stayed low key, lots of rest and kept up the meds.  We had a few quick visitors, flowers and food.  Sure don't think I will have to learn to cook. 

We talked to Michael and the NC boys via facetime tonight.  Anne, Patrick, Liam, Connor stopped by for ice cream cake and opening Anne's presents. 

We also heard from Philip and Ryan.  Philip, Annette, and their friend Jeff moved Catrina to a marina just north of Miami.  Philip, Ryan, and others will move her on down to Marathon next week so she will be waiting for us the first of January.

Since Pat's progressing is going well I'll plan to just do one update tomorrow.  She hasn't volunteered (even with a little begging on my part) to take her job back.  

Maybe she feels that if you can't drive under the influence of drugs, you shouldn't 'blog' either.

Wednesday December 12 - AM

Pat had a good night.  Took more pain pills at 4 a.m., did not sleep too much after that, but said she was very relaxed.  As you can see from the picture she is up and well into her emails and internet reading.   Will provide another update tonight.

Happy Birthday to Michael and Anne.  Extra special on 12-12-12.

Tuesday, December 11

Pat's surgery went very well today.  The doctor was pleased with how it went and what he saw.  They used the "DaVinci Method"  for the surgery.  We had never heard of it until this past week.  He feels if she takes it easy for the next week, she will be good to go after that.

We reported to the hospital at 7:30 a.m. and were on our way home by 3 p.m.

She is resting and taking her pain pills as recommended.  Had some great Turkey and Noodle soup for supper.  Thanks Claire!

I will publish her status each day until she is ready to take by the reins.

Sunday - December 9

Busy fun weekend enjoying holiday gatherings with boating friends (last night) and the Monday Night Friends today.    Nothing like sharing the joys of the season with our bestest buddies!
Liam and Connor helped Grandma make some cookies yesterday - they are good little helpers and also helped Grandpa carry up all the gifts from Grandma's "surprise" and "locked" room in the basement to put around the tree.
And so......the cards are in the mail, shopping done, gifts wrapped, cookies baked - all in time for some outpatient surgery Tuesday for me!    Just praying all goes well.    This was unexpected and put a glitch in the holiday fun, but health comes first and foremost!     Mark will update the blog for a few days!
Hope your frenzy is under control?

Friday - December 7

December is in full swing with holiday luncheons, parties and good eating.    Been working on the cards and other projects.      Past few days have been fun - wrapping up our Santa letter campaign with Exchange Club, lunch with BBB Friends, and presentation of our Tiger Cruise last night to the residents of Westminster Village (retirement home).
Today my PEO ladies had a very nice silent auction and celebrated the season with friends!
Went to 5:30 Mass tonight for the holy day (Feast of the Immaculate Conception) and afterwards, enjoyed pizza at Monicals with Anne, Patrick, Liam and Connor.    Connor is spending the night.   Liam will join us after his early-morning hockey game and we plan to bake some cookies!    Weather is dreary - misty rain off and on today!    Love the warm glow of the Christmas lights to brighten things up!

Tuesday - December 4

Another nice day, but not quite as warm as the 71 we had yesterday!    I had a doctor appointment and then Mark took off for Dixon to take his Dad to the wound doctor.   I had lunch with boating gals at Sweet and Savory (new spot in town) - very good.    Ran some errands in the afternoon including getting my driver's license renewed.

We had our yard looking really good with all the leaves raked....well, yesterday was very windy and we have a neighbor across the street who NEVER rakes a leaf and so....guess where a big bunch of those ended up?    Yup....they are scattered all over our yard and Marty's next door!   AAARRRGGHHH!!!!!!!    That will be on tomorrow's agenda, but it's bound to happen again!
The leaf pick-up season is about to end, too.   Bah Humbug!!
The Monday Night Friends wrapped gifts for our Adopt-a-Family (always a feel good time) and then to CJ's for supper and chatter.

Sunday - December 2

  December 2 and the warm weather continues.......spent a fun afternoon with the Sublettians at the Oak Ridge Golf Course for lunch and Christmas party.   Lots of men out golfing this pretty day!    We gals (13) plus GG (Sheila's husband) had so much fun kicking off the 2012 holiday party fun!     After lunch, we ooohed and aaahed over the baby clothing, diapers, and other sweet things we are donating to Birthright.    We then exchanged our gifts - something you no longer need/want/or never used!   Lots of fun and laughs!    I was back home at 4 and checking my lists and making new ones!    Mark enjoyed a quiet afternoon at home! 
Jane is checking out her new tea kettle
Linda admiring her new ornament from Germany
The Sublettians
Top left:  Mary, Jane, Debbi, Sally, Ellen, Anita, Rita
Top right:  Sheila, Ann, Marilyn, Linda, Eileen, Pat
Here's Drew on his birthday (yesterday) with his brothers, Dad and Grand Bob at Beanstalk Journey
(zipline fun)!
Here's to a good week ahead....tomorrow, 68 degrees coming!

Saturday - December 1

Mark and I are feeling a tad older today - our oldest grandson, Drew is a teenager!   How can that be?    WOW......where-oh-where does the time go?   We wish Drew (and his parents) lots of fun times ahead during these teen years!
We have a lot of special memories from 12/1/99 to the present and will be exciting to watch Drew grow into his teen years and become a young adult!


Happy Birthday Drewby
xoxoxo from Grandma/Grandpa
Showing his athletic prowess in Virginia this summer

And the birthday boy with his brothers touring Washington , DC
We had a good day at home getting more jobs done, updating lists, etc.    Dreary but warm (60's)!
Yesterday (Friday) Anne and I took the 7:30 train to Chicago and had so much fun.   Weather was ideal for strolling Michigan Avenue and State Street.   We shopped, browsed, had a great lunch at Grand Lux, and topped off the day with a visit to Christkindlmarket at Daley Plaza.   This open-air event is set up as a European Village during the holiday season with vendors from all over .    Sooo many ornaments and other decorative European specialty gifts, along with wonderful food and drink made for a very festive atmosphere.    We bought some treats (hot and sweet) for the train trip home.
Enjoying a hot drink at Christkindlmarket
Liam and Connor stayed with Grandpa - and here they are with their new "Elf on the Shelf" which they are calling "Elvis"
Excited little boys
Mark and I went to 4:30 Mass, delicious dinner at Baxter's and then short visit with
 Ed and Donna Rae.